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Technological Unemployment

A modern epidemic or an opportunity for change?*

hyphensa CEO

The recession in Greece and the credit crunch in the UK, the US in 2008 and Asia in 2015 share a common denominator. The largest building blocks of the economy had to make staffing cuts, not just because “the numbers didn’t work out”, but because they could. The reason businesses were and are able to do this is due to the fact they can now access more cost-efficient resources to achieve their desired results. Normally, reducing labour costs should lead to staffing up and an increase in turnover. However, we have observed that the opposite is often the case.

When employers in a specific market are able to attain their targets by finding cheaper means of production that equal or better the outcome achieved by human resources, often by using machines, then we observe the effect of technological unemployment. The previous period in which humanity felt the tremors of technological unemployment was during the Industrial Revolution, when a machine could replace ten employees. The Western industrialised nations that faced this issue most intensely were countries that needed two or three decades to invent novel professions. Inevitably, these professions materialised in the services sector since industrial production and agriculture were catered for by machines.

Today, the services sector has also been inundated by machines, computers, robots, etc. Robotics and Computer Science work feverishly to replace services that only humans were able to perform until now, as well as providing affordable solutions to businesses. Thus, technological unemployment has evolved and constitutes anything a computer can produce equally well as and with less expense than a human. This now applies to all fields and sciences.

Through its extensive research which began in 1995, the αriston project, the think tank of hyphen SA, based in Solihull, UK, has already shown how we can be one step ahead of machines: through continual specialisation in the creation of new content. Machines can replace human resources, but only by using something that humans have already invented. Thus, innovation and new content provide the solution to technological unemployment.

Focusing on non-formal education, Skills 2020 embodies this precisely: how we will train each student and job market candidate to consistently develop the skills necessary for an irreplaceable role, one in which they can compose and produce new content within their own field.

Concurrently, we should not overlook the large geographic contraction brought on by the internet. For a company to gain access to the most cost-effective means of production, finding a machine to replace an employee is not the only solution. The company can also locate a more cost-effective region where staffing is more reasonably priced and the same expertise can be found for half the cost. In this way, a candidate must master the additional skill of familiarisation with the new media climate, enabling them to operate in virtual business and training environments. For example, a project team can be composed of five different nationalities and located in five different parts of the world, but it can still operate through a Business Skype session. This has created the emerging need for the development of skills such as cross-cultural competency – respect for another religion, language and, in general, the culture of the collaborating parties.

We are therefore forced to innovate and move forward. This is the self-righteous punishment of humanity for its moral, intellectual, spiritual and educational stagnation.

*Excerpt from the protifora αriston project radio course.

Focus on Publishing

Textbooks for digital natives

by George Theodoropoulos, Production Editor, hyphen SA

Redesigning and revamping educational books for the markets of Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Poland and Mexico, in close collaboration with the largest publishing houses and universities in the world, we are transforming the layout and composition of traditional lessons and coursebooks. Our source of inspiration for the fresh design is new media, including, amongst other things, websites, smartphones, tablets and many popular apps.

In recent times, learners have become familiar with the digital world from a very young age, using applications and visiting websites – either on their own or with supervision from their family. Touch screens, web links and interactive elements on an interface are part of their daily life much more than landlines, newspapers and encyclopaedias, all of which have become obsolete from the classroom and home.

Young learners as digital natives have been born in the digital age and are expecting their books to correspond to current technology. Illustrations and photos that include tapes, CDs and large computers belong to the past. Even texts that accompany such objects have to be updated in line with the digital era.

The new generation of learners has developed expectations for modern and up-to-date content in education, relevant to recent times and new media. At hyphen SA, we make a point of addressing and exceeding the expectations of learners by stimulating their imaginations and quenching their thirst for knowledge. Follow us on this journey!


Customer Spotlight

Human need – Business necessity

by Yiorgos Litos, Business Development Manager, hyphen SA

Man has always felt the inherent need to communicate using any form of communication, be it verbal, nonverbal or written. It is most surprising then, at a time like the present, characterised by a barrage of information, there are still companies whose international communication activities resemble the verbal skills of a two-year-old child; a few key words and ambiguous vocabulary, unintelligible for most people.

Regardless of size, the successful and international modern enterprise develops communication strategies that define its unique and specific character in the market. Following a concrete plan, it systematically promotes its activities related to services and/or products whilst maintaining open channels of communication with its customers and collaborators. It develops its communicative features to enable the enterprise to stand out in the mind of the consumer and influence their purchasing behaviour.

In this way, the human need for communication is fulfilled, as is the need for corporate communication. Concurrently, ways to escape the introvert mindset that has prevailed during the crisis begin to reveal themselves.

Integrated communication strategies elevate a business’ status and provide actual value to its services and products. They grant the business a place in the market, while their absence cause it to disappear completely. I communicate, therefore I am.

The use of numerous communication tools that have been developed in recent years offer all enterprises opportunities for development and promotion.

The methodical effort of a business to meet the needs of consumers requires a comprehensive communication and marketing plan, focused on a long-term relationship of mutual trust.

hyphen SA has developed a significant number of communication and New Media services that focus on content and go far beyond the usual framework of an advertising campaign. By harnessing the potential of social media to formulate your long-term communication strategy, the expert team at hyphen SA provide the necessary experience and tools to successfully showcase your company.

Schooling, homeschooling and unschooling – a brief what’s what

by Emma Parker,
Vice President – hyphen SA International Development Director – CEO hyphen Publishing Services, hyphen SA

“I never teach my pupils, I just provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
– Albert Einstein

“Don’t let schooling get in the way of learning.”
– Mark Twain

“When you teach a child something, you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.”
– Jean Piaget

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
– Plato

Enrolling in a short non-fiction writing course recently, I was struck by how thrilled I was to be back in a learning environment. I sharpened my pencils, did my pre-course reading, and wrote my name inside a brand-new sleek notebook. I arrived early, took copious notes, and was the last one to leave. Thankfully I managed to resist taking an apple for the teacher. How had I ever thought school tedious? Memories of trying to stay awake in double Latin, or developing a sudden severe headache to get out of conversational French came flooding back. Why hadn’t I made the most of every single second of my education?

The truth is that a lot of children find mainstream schooling deathly dull. My daughter wants to know why she has to learn Ancient Greek – a dead language, and the trade history of Crete in the Bronze Age. Chatting to her today, she suggested that children be taught all the core subjects until the age of 12, but then be allowed to choose to continue only with 5 subjects that interest them – Anna tells me she would choose Maths, Music, English, Art and Home Economics. Apart from Maths, which she says she finds useful, it’s easy for anyone who knows Anna to understand her choices – she has always loved music, read books, drawn pictures and enjoyed being in the kitchen with me.

Almost all of us have been schooled – that is – attended scheduled regular subject lessons that follow a strict syllabus, together with other children born in the same year. It works for most children, despite the boredom, but not for all. You’re probably already familiar with the notion of homeschooling. Parents, often but not always trained teachers themselves, teach their children at home. They find out what the local educational laws and regulations are, set up a space in the house dedicated to learning, define specific curricula, and identify their child’s reading level and learning style so as to tailor the learning to the child. Homeschooling is quite common in rural areas in particular, where the nearest school is too far away for a daily commute.

Coined by John Holt in the 1970s, unschooling is a form of homeschooling that is entirely child-led, following their curiosity and interests. There are no syllabi – learning is not divided into discrete subjects but is seen as part of everyday life and experience. It is participatory and active. It requires the parent to be a keen observer of their child, able to seize every learning opportunity that presents itself. Unschooling parents are anything but lazy – on the contrary they have to often go the extra mile to help the child learn something thoroughly. Although not true 100% of the time, unschooling can be the natural progression of an attachment based parenting approach.

So, does unschooling actually work? In a study of 75 grown unschoolers, 83% said they had gone on to some formal higher education; 44% had completed or were completing a bachelor’s degree. The unschoolers who did not pursue higher education did so because they felt it was not required for their career choice and felt that they could learn what they needed to know independently or via an alternative route. A high proportion of them had chosen careers in the creative arts; a high proportion were self-employed entrepreneurs; and a relatively high proportion were in STEM careers. Most felt that their unschooling benefited them for higher education and careers by promoting their sense of personal responsibility, self-motivation, and desire to learn. (1)

Unschooling then, seems to nurture the natural human instinct for lifelong learning, an instinct that mainstream schooling seems to suppress… There is clearly still a lot of room for improvement in today’s educational system. Perhaps we need to listen carefully to what Anna has to say?

1. Grey, P. & Riley, G. (2015) Grown Unschoolers’ Evaluations of Their Unschooling Experiences: Report I on a Survey of 75 Unschooled Adults. Other Education. The Journal of Educational Alternatives.

Company News

Launch of the αriston codex deemed a great success!

The skills for the future of work and the threat of technological unemployment, which is slowly but surely leading to the replacement of people by machines, formed the main focus of protifora αriston project LIVE and the launch of the αriston codex, written by the President and CEO of hyphen SA, Mr Yannis Stergis, CRMDr.

The αriston codex identifies and codifies the small experiential goals we set ourselves and need to conquer each day in order to be consistently successful and resourceful. It is a reference book, or rather, a guide book, to be used at every step of our journey through the different stages of life.

Opening the event, Mrs Emma Parker, Vice President of hyphen SA and publisher of the αriston codex, summarised the work of .ParkerStergis. publishing house and spoke of the significance of the release of the αriston codex.

During the event held at the Pavlos Zannas Theatre, author Yannis Stergis focused on the prospect of entrepreneurial autonomy, which is at the heart of the αriston codex. Mr Stergis highlighted the need for the existence of sustainable and viable small and medium-sized businesses in our current economy, explaining that they help to diversify the economic foundations of the country and provide the opportunity to meet a variety of market conditions. Moreover, companies of this size help to create jobs and reduce unemployment.

Mr Dimitris Nikolaidis, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at City College, emphasised how the development of corporate culture is integral to the success of companies, specifying the essential skills as communication, strong ethical principles, team spirit, initiative, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, an analytical approach, adaptability and knowledge of IT.

Mr Miltiadis Sarigiannidis, Associate Professor of Law at Aristotle University, noted the importance of individual excellence, a guiding principle that runs throughout the αriston codex. Mr Sarigiannidis also stressed the ethical and philosophical dimensions of the book which are inherent to entrepreneurship.

A message expressing support and recognition of the αriston codex was sent to Mr Stergis by the President of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, Mr Athanasios Savvakis, who was unable to attend the event due to professional obligations abroad. In his prerecorded message, Mr Savvakis stated that “the book is a true guide” and represents, amongst other things, the prospect for growth, which should be an integral part of both our personal and professional activity.

The event at the Pavlos Zannas Theatre welcomed 250 people, the majority of which attended both the presentation of the αriston codex and the seminars that followed for entrepreneurs, professionals, young people, parents and teachers.

Expansion in Greece for the hyphen SA Group

The skills and the ways in which they affect employability and the educational levels of all ages form the core of the Elaeons, the network of training centres which hyphen SA has developed throughout Greece and Cyprus.

Concurrently, as well as continuing its international operations, which represent 85% of the company’s turnover, hyphen SA is now also turning its attention to supporting Greek and Cypriot businesses by focusing on exports and international sales.

hyphen SA also provides a range of other services to Greek and Cypriot markets, drawing on their extensive experience and know-how derived from collaborations with the five largest publishing houses worldwide (Cambridge University Press, Pearson Education, Macmillan and McGraw-Hill).

Moreover, hyphen SA, together with the educational think-tank, the αriston project, offers educational business programmes to Greek and Cypriot companies. These programmes are designed and adapted to the needs of both administrative and managerial personnel.

hyphen SA undertakes the integrated planning and implementation of educational and publishing projects, fulfilling specific marketing and communication needs.

hyphen SA currently provides services to a range of private enterprises and institutions including the Black Sea Trade Development Bank, Mevgal and Kleemann Hellas.

the αriston project

protifora – streamlining development for businesses

by Dimitris Diamantidis, New Media & Marketing Director, hyphen SA

Participating in the protifora αriston project is something entirely different to anything I have experienced in all the 23 years of my career as a journalist. Together with the President of hyphen SA, Mr Yannis Stergis, we launched the first series of our radio course last year, without knowing if the audience in Northern Greece would support this endeavour. protifora, the first radio course enabling the audience to achieve a valuable course certificate, constitutes an innovative approach that has reached far beyond our expectations.

Just the fact that this November we have begun the second series of the radio course reveals that the public have not only embraced the protifora αriston project, but have also fervently encouraged us to carry on. In the 36 broadcasts of the second series, on air every Friday at 10:00 (online at, we thoroughly analyse the tools and skills that ensure the viability and development of businesses.

The topics that will be discussed in the second series of the protifora αriston project are:

  1. Defining Entrepreneurship – Origin and types of entrepreneurship
  2. The value of ‘moderation’ in entrepreneurship and how cost centres ensure this
  3. How productive is your business? Defining productivity
  4. Cost Centres and their importance in securing productivity
  5. Human resources and productivity
  6. Assertiveness as an entrepreneurial skill
  7. Which tools guarantee the productivity of employees? Processes and policies
  8. Negotiation techniques in business
  9. When is an executive harmful to the business?
  10. Drafting an organisational chart, corporate policies and procedures
  11. Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)
  12. Human limitations and procedures
  13. Judging from the results – Entrepreneurship without good intentions
  14. The employer as the employee’s client
  15. Business as usual – How to distinguish between professional and personal issues
  16. The family business in Greece and in the world
  17. The family business – Passing on to the next generation
  18. Management of State policies, EU legislation, social insurance, institutions
  19. Subsidisation and loans – When and under what terms?
  20. Entrepreneurial deficiencies and managing them
  21. Defining Marketing – Corporate identity and promotion
  22. Sales: Definitions and structures
  23. The art of collecting payments and regulatory terms
  24. Income – Profit – Gross and net margins
  25. International expansion: Definition – Structure – Planning
  26. The role of intercultural intelligence in the internationally active company
  27. New media and the virtual environment in sales and collaborations
  28. Business training for international business activity and sales
  29. Sales pitch techniques and empathy as a fact of life
  30. The nature and art of export sales
  31. The role of neurology and emotion in entrepreneurial success
  32. Why being an entrepreneur is a profession
  33. The αriston project CODEX – Objectives, achievements, specifics of entrepreneurial success
  34. The timeline of business documentation and development
  35. Entrepreneurship bound for success

Register at our website and follow our radio course to be rewarded with valuable skills for the development of both your business and yourself.


Immersion* in a foreign language – Learning English with CLIL

by Foteini Boukouvala, MEd Special Education, Educational Programmes Coordinator and Dora Papapanagiotou, Senior Educational Consultant, hyphen SA

The eight skills underpinning the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR), communication in native and foreign languages, computational thinking, metacognition, social intelligence, entrepreneurship and cross-cultural competency, can now be acquired by learning foreign languages with the CLIL method (Content and Language Integrated Learning).

During the lecture entitled “From Europe to Greece”, organised and held by City College, Ms Matheoudaki, Associate Professor at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, highlighted that foreign language speakers in Europe, but also worldwide, are divided into two categories: Plurilingualists and Multilingualists. Plurilingualists belong to those who speak several languages and have the ability to "change" language "automatically", speaking with ease on any subject and in any communicative situation. On the other hand, Multilingualists, while speaking many languages, use a different type of language in different situations and environments, for example, colloquial or formal language.

The seminar was attended by representatives of hyphen SA, Foteini Boukouvala and Dora Papapanagiotou, who gained valuable insight into the advantages of the CLIL method for the development of teaching foreign languages. According to this methodology, the student gradually acquires the capacity of a bilingual speaker, is able to use the language from an early age and in various fields, and learns terminology which will not only be useful in a later academic career, but also in the workplace. The seminar was enriched with research that applied the CLIL method to the teaching of elementary students. The success of the implementation of CLIL was demonstrated through audiovisual material, the results of which were impressive; in just three months, students of the 3rd Grade in elementary school were able to utilise and speak English during their History lesson.

The CLIL method is integrated into all the educational programmes of hyphen SA: Young Pioneers STEAM, Young Pioneers and ROIEDU Global Skills. In this way, young pioneers are not only immersed in English terminology of the Sciences and Arts, as well as business for older students, but the acquisition of the English language is transformed. Learning becomes engaging and fun whilst necessary skills are developed and students are prepared for the future of work.

*Term used by Ms Matheoudaki, Associate Professor at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in her lecture, “From Europe to Greece”.


Which soft skills foster talent in the workplace?

by Dimitris Diamantidis, New Media & Marketing Director, hyphen SA

Critical thinking, life-long learning, planning, flexibility, adaptability, agility. These constitute the set of soft skills that a talented employee should possess, according to the 2016 ManpowerGroup report on the skills for cultivating talent in the workplace.

Based on these widely recognised and highly demanded skills throughout the job market, this research defines what constitutes talent in the workplace. The study was conducted on a global scale, including 3,791 businesses that have been active in 8 European countries.

The fundamental conclusions of this study, as identified by ManpowerGroup, are as follows:

  • This basic skillset is recognised and accepted by medium-sized and smaller businesses, although its recognition is not limited solely to HR departments.
  • The ideal employee profile is differentiated from the past and now includes a combination of skills, such as planning, flexibility and team spirit. Problem solving, commitment to goals and cooperation are the skills most closely associated with talent.
  • Soft skills play a consistent role through all generations. Digital skills are bound to Millennials and the emphasis on their development will significantly enhance competiveness in relation to innovation.
  • Regardless of whether this competitive mix of skills is recognised, from which talent is assessed, holding on to and developing talent has become one of the main future challenges facing businesses.
  • Adaptability, or the potential to fit in and evolve within a constantly changing business environment, has become the most important factor in the success of talent.

According to this research, the set of soft skills that constitute talent confirms the diversity of the ideal employee profile, combining skills such as planning, flexibility in teamwork and cooperation. Hence, problem solving (69%), commitment to goals (58%) and cooperation (57%) are the three most desirable skills required to foster talent in the workplace.

hyphen SA
Vas. Olgas 24b, GR-54641, Thessaloniki, Greece
T: +30 2310 888 125
F: +30 2310 887 208

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